Posted Under: Reviews
The Graco TurboBooster has long been a favorite of parents and car seat experts. It’s relatively inexpensive and tends to provide a great fit for a wide range of children and vehicles. Over the past couple years, though, more and more caregivers have sought out booster seats with LATCH connectors to keep the seat secure when it’s not in use, a feature the TurboBooster lacks.
Enter the Graco Affix Booster with LATCH. Think of it as a TurboBooster Supreme, if you will: All the features you know and love about the Turbo, plus a couple added goodies, including LATCH!
First, the nitty-gritty. As best I can tell, the Affix has almost exactly the same dimensions as the TurboBooster, so if one works for you, the other should, too. I only had the backless Turbo to compare with, but my measurements of the Affix (with and without back) are essentially the same as the measurements in car-seat.org’s Car Seat Data Measurements for the TurboBooster. A few measurements of the Affix are slightly different than some of the Turbo’s in the database, but I think that’s due to the difficulty of getting exact measurements rather than actual differences in the seat.
Graco Affix Specs
Highback: At least 3 years old, 38-57″, 30-100 lbs
Backless: At least 4 years old, 40-57″, 40-100 lbs
External width at back: 14″
External width at front: 18″
External width at torso wings: 16.5″
External width at headrest: 16″
Interior of headrest: 6.5-10.5 inches
Interior of torso wings: 15 inches at widest point
Interior seating width: 10 inches
Interior seating depth: approximately 14 inches. The seating pan curves down, so it’s hard to get an exact measurement.
There are two noticeable differences between the measurements of the TurboBooster and the Affix. The Affix has two cupholders (like the Turbo), but only one of them can be stored in the base. The other is integrated into the base of the seat, causing the front of the Affix to be slightly wider than a Turbo with both cupholders stored.
The other difference is a slight change in the back of the seat that causes the Affix to measure two inches narrower than the Turbo (14″ and 16″ respectively).
Here are photos comparing the back underside of both bases. They appear to be the same in the center, but if you look to the sides you can see the one is a bit narrower. The second photo shows a slight difference in the way they taper.
Despite the 2″ discrepancy, there didn’t seem to be much, if any, difference in the way the seats fit. Both the backless Turbo and backless Affix fit exactly the same way in the seating position we use, with the seatbelt buckle fitting right against the edge of the booster. Because the external dimensions are the same, the slight difference in the back of the base probably won’t provide any benefit.
Now onto the features.
Why LATCH on a booster? The jury is still out on how much, if any, extra protection LATCHed boosters offer. What we do know is that an unused booster seat can become a projectile in a crash, posing a danger to other people in the car. We always recommend that children buckle their boosters when they get out of the car, but that can be a cumbersome process and is often forgotten. Using LATCH keeps the booster in place at all times, effortlessly.
The LATCH connectors on the Affix are easily accessible and intuitive to use. Just press the tab on the front of the seat, pull the connectors out the back, click them on, and pull the straps in the front. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here’s a video for the visual learners out there:
LATCH use is optional, not required. If you’re not using the LATCH connectors, just keep them stored in their little cubbies.
Some people have noticed that one of their LATCH connectors can loosen just by pulling on it, without using the release button. I tried it with mine and initially the connectors didn’t budge. I figured some people might have gotten a bad batch. Then I tried again with a little more force. This time, the connector on the left (as you look a the seat from the front) did loosen.
Since the LATCH connectors are there for convenience rather than safety, I don’t imagine this poses a problem. Theoretically, a seat might come loose on one side during a crash, but I’m not sure that would even be possible, especially with the weight of a child on the seat. Even if it did, I’m not sure it would have any negative effects.
The Affix worked beautifully in the captain’s chair of my 2010 Honda Odyssey, the third row outboard (where my son usually sits), and also in the outboard seat of a newer Jeep Wrangler. In both vehicles, the booster provided an excellent lap- and shoulder-belt fit for my child. As always, your results may vary. Each vehicle, seating position, and kid is unique! Here are two shots of my son, and one of Darren’s 7-year old son in the third row of a 2013 Chevrolet Traverse:
I had hoped to take advantage of the LATCH anchors in the third row center of our Odyssey, but the seating position is too narrow. I blame the vehicle rather than the Affix for that one.
Unlike some boosters, the Affix does not require a headrest in high-back mode, though it does require that a child have adequate head support when being used as a backless.
The Affix isn’t the tallest high-back you’ll find, but I was surprised that my tall 8-year-old (55″ and size 10 shirts) still fits, though just barely. It works very well for him as a backless booster.
Remember earlier I alluded to the Affix having another “goodie” besides LATCH? Check this out:
No, the extra goodie isn’t Darren. (Sorry!) Look what he’s doing, though: He’s holding the back of the booster…and the bottom is STILL ATTACHED! One of the most annoying things about the Turbo is how it tends to fall apart as soon as it’s picked up. Not so with the Affix! The Affix sticks to your car, and to itself!
So what do I think of the Affix? Graco essentially took an already reliable, versatile product and made it even better with the addition of LATCH. The Affix might not be the absolute tallest booster available, but it will be more than sufficient for what most people need. For ease of use and fit, I actually prefer the Affix to the other, much pricier LATCHable boosters I’ve used. The Affix gets two thumbs up from me!
Thank-you to Graco for providing the Affix for our review. No other compensation was given. Please check out the Graco Baby website for more details on the Affix Youth Booster Seat with LATCH!